Monday, April 18, 2016

I love Spring!!

Wow, what a great day Saturday turned out to be. They were saying highs in the 80's but with the weather people being wrong more often than they're right, who knew....Turns out they were right for a change.

Chris' wife was on call and I was all caught up on my chores around the house so we both had a free pass for the day.  We had decided to get a nice ride in instead of heading down to the Otter event. It was a pretty rough week at work and I decided dealing with a crowd was not how I wanted to spend my day off.

We rolled in to the Hunting Hollow entrance right about 9:30 and there were already a bunch of cars as well as a group of 4 on matching Ibis bikes that were headed out just before us.....we'd run in to them again a couple more times throughout the day.

I had ridden Coe many, many years ago on my rigid SS and all I remember was that it hurt....a lot. Today though, in a rare moment of good sense, I left the SS at home and brought the Vassago 1x10 with the front suspension.

The day started pretty much how I remember the last ride here starting.....with lots of up...we rode across the first of several creek crossings and immediately began climbing the Jim Donnelly trail which was a nice smooth singletrack that led us to the Steer Ridge trail towards Wilson Peak.

We met and passed several groups of hikers and I can totally understand the attraction for hiking here. The weather was perfect, the views were amazing and the wildflowers were out in abundance.

Eventually, after a short steep hike a bike section, we arrived at Wilson Peak. Here we ran in to the group of Ibis riders taking a break. they were either ahead of us the entire time or had come up another was as we never saw other cyclists on the trail, only hikers.

After enjoying a granola bar and some water, we headed out with no real clue where we were headed or how long it would take us to get back.(I love these kinds of rides)

After a long, steep, swoopy downhill that had my brakes howling (might be time for new pads) we ended up in the bottom of a canyon which necessitated a few more cross creek adventures. With no real idea where we were and only a general idea of where we needed to be, it was a nice time to again run in to the Ibis clan who it turns out actually knew the park really well.    Turns out we were exactly where we were...

The middle portion of the ride was in and out of canyons with awesome singletrack, beautiful flowers, some ponds and creek crossings. It was awesome.

Eventually we saw a sign that pointed us towards the Coyote Creek entrance which was another long steep downhill and again had my brakes squealing like stuck pig. (not that I've ever heard a stuck pig)

As we rolled in to the lot, we were both wishing we had found another way back to the truck. As much as I like a fast, mostly downhill ride back to the truck (and beers) I didn't want the singletrack to end just yet. Unfortunately, we missed whatever options there might have been and neither of us really wanted to climb back up the trail we had just come down. Besides, there was a brewery in our near future.

I can imagine that in a couple of weeks, these trails will be brutally hot, dusty dry and brown. I don't know if the creeks run year round, but I doubt it. I'm very glad though that I got to experience this park, at this particular time of year......There's always next year for Sea Otter....

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